Youssef Zalal is Happy to be Back in the Cage at LFA 56
It’s been nearly six months since top featherweight prospect Youssef “The Moroccan Devil” last stepped in the cage when he dominated Daniel Soto at LFA 39 to improve his record to 5-0. Now he will head to Minnesota to face Steven Merrill at LFA 56.
Zalal wanted to return to the cage much earlier but injuries prevented him from doing so. But he didn’t waste his time out of the cage, he was still in the gym and he was coaching his teammates around the country. Almost every weekend it seemed like Zalal was cornering one of his Factory X teammates. Whether it was Steven Siler for PFL in New York city, Sid Bice for LFA in South Dakota or Chris Gutierrez for the UFC in Las Vegas. Though he was the coach, cornering his fighters taught him a lot.
“It doesn’t matter what the guy can bring, we are a different level than these guys. That’s what I learned traveling around the United States This guy’s a wrestler, we submitted him, this guy’s a jiu jitsu guy, we submitted him, this guy’s a striker we beat him in the striking.”
This past summer, Zalal was scheduled to fight on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, however it fell through. But he doesn’t feel he needs the show to get to the UFC.
“I’m not gonna wait for a show to get to the UFC, I’m going to get to the UFC no matter what.”
But first he has to get past Merrill, who is stepping up on short notice to face Zalal. The Moroccan Devil doesn’t care about getting a short notice replacement even a little bit.
“To me it doesn’t matter, it’s the name of the game, I’m always ready for whoever.”
And he thinks it will be a short night for the short notice opponent.
“It’s going to be another finish as usual.”
With a win, the Colorado-based fighter expects a shot at LFA’s featherweight title or he’ll be in the UFC.
“They know exactly who wants that belt. I guarantee you, I’ll be the next one fighting for the belt after this match, if not, I’ll be in the UFC.”